Best Lakes in the US to Sail - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-01-2010
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Definitely a "no" to Lake of the Ozarks - it's essentually a wide, snaking river full of high powered cigarette/performance boats and cruisers. It is a great place though if you want the waterfront home, have a powerboat, and to enjoy the numerous waterfront bars and restaraunts (and "party coves" for that matter). On any given weekend it is a near suicide misssion to be out on that lake on a boat less than 30 feet.

My home port is on Stockton Lake in Missouri and it's funny because that lake is one that has been touted on websites as one of the "Top 10 Best Sailing Lakes" yet I personally have never seen it published anywhere after searching. Having lived and sailed on both coasts (SoCal and NH/Maine) I will say it is a great lake and worth the 2 hour drive from Kansas City. Very clear and deep water, good wind, excellent fishing, a ton of wildlife, no lakefront development, and sailboats make up the majority of boats on the water - the lake remains very uncrowded and there are endless opportunities to discover new coves for secluded overnight anchorage.

If anyone does come up with this mystical article/listing of the "Top 10 Best Sailing Lakes" please post it.

-drgamble

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post #22 of 33 Old 02-01-2010
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If you are serious about sailing, not just playing around in a dinghy, the only place to be is the Great Lakes.
Talk about "Lake Superior." Dinghies aren't serious sailing -- who knew? Poor Ben Ainslie. A life wasted. Come play on our Bucc18 in Wyoming in 35 kts, you'll learn just how serious it can get.

For us Lake Inferior plebes, the Finger Lakes of upstate NY are indeed excellent. Winds are spotty in summer; the shallow northern ends can be weedy; and the deep southern ends are narrow (1/2 mile in places) and walled in by hills both shores. But it's lazy times and wine country, genteel in a 1920s kind of way. I prefer Cayuga Lake to Seneca, because the Union Springs end is wider and has lots of little coves. Canandaigua is pretty at sixteen miles long and some proper mansions on the west side. I grew up there. All of these lakes are short of public access and amenities.

Out West, Flathead Lake gets good reviews. SO does Pend Oreille Can't beat the scenery of Jackson Lake; the rangers are mellow, the afternoon winds are NOT.



Yellowstone Lake offers the chance to sail in a volcano; anchoring is iffy and the regs are brutal.



Down the road in Pinedale are some enchanting lakes; our favorite is Fremont. It's 10 miles long and only 1 wide at most, but the fishing is great and if you get bored easily, the best wilderness mountain range in the Lower 48 starts at the NE end of it. Park your boat and shoulder that pack.



For some really scrappy inland sailing that emphasizes wind over all other considerations, Seminoe, Pathfinder, Glendo, and Granby deserve mention. Tahoe is, of course, stupendously beautiful. Texas has some large reservoirs with active sailing presence; others can speak for those. I like lake sailing. You get to tack a lot. Cheers!

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post #23 of 33 Old 02-01-2010
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The greatest lake to sail on is Beaver Dam lake in Northern Indiana. I spent my youth sailing the summers away on that lake. The lake is a little under 400 acres. But, for a 12 year old kid and a old wood Lighting sailboat, it was every bit the adventures I read about in the books. Breaking waves that were 2 feet tall. Sea monsters, well you would see a snapping turtle every now and then. The Pirates that board your vessel, that would be my Dad coming out in the motor boat telling me it was time for dinner.

A few years back, I bought a 15 foot Mutineer in Tennessee. A toy to play with, when I didn't want to play with our Beneteau. On our way back to New York after picking up the boat, I stopped with the boat at Beaver Dam. We launched our new to us boat and all 6 of us piled in and across the lake we went. Grandmother was not impressed how the boat was overloaded with her grandkids, But the kids and I were loving it.

Yep, 40 years later sailing with my kids, Beaver Dam Lake is still the best.


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Last edited by bubb2; 02-01-2010 at 07:43 PM.
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-01-2010
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The greatest lake to sail on is Beaver Dam lake in Northern Indiana. I spent my youth sailing the summers away on that lake. The lake is a little under 400 acres. But, for a 12 year old kid and a old wood Lighting sailboat, it was every bit the adventures I read about in the books. Breaking waves that were 2 feet tall. Sea monsters, well you would see a snapping turtle every now and then. The Pirates that board your vessel, that would be my Dad coming out in the motor boat telling me it was time for dinner.

A few years back, I bought a 15 foot Mutineer in Tennessee. A toy to play with, when I didn't want to play with our Beneteau. On our way back to New York after picking up the boat, I stooped with the boat at Beaver Dam. We launched our new to us boat and all 6 of us piled in and across the lake we went. Grandmother was not impressed how the boat was overloaded with her grandkids, But the kids and I were loving it.

Yep, 40 years later sailing with my kids, Beaver Dam Lake is still the best.
My easily-amused brother! Adventure is what you make of it. John Gill spent most of his days climbing rocks under 20 feet tall. His name is legend, and some of his 50-yr old routes are still beyond all but a half-dozen people. Nice tale, Bubb.

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post #25 of 33 Old 02-01-2010
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It was nice to see Kentucky Lake rec'd by a couple people. Anyone know what depth of keel would be maximum for there down to the gulf?
Hello Bob,
I have been sailing Kentucky Lake since 1981 and while everyone talks about it being a shallow lake, I have found it to be good water in most places. Just like any lake, you can find shallows that you can find your share of grief in. I would not be scared of 6.5 to 7 feet of draft, and if you stay in the channel, you can go to the gulf through the Tenn Tom most anytime. Your biggest problem is bridge clearance, I think about 40'-45' is the max before you have to pull the stick. I'm not going to say it is the best sailing lake, but it is one of the good ones and the eastern shoreline is all TVA ground (Land Between the Lakes) so you can always find some good anchorages that are quite secluded. It is a pretty nice spot in the world!!
DD

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post #26 of 33 Old 02-02-2010
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Can you get under the Oak Hill bridge with your J/34 or are there other bridges that are the problem?
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post #27 of 33 Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Best Lakes in the US to Sail

I live in Arizona, but sail all over the country.
We have some of the best sailing lakes right here. We have 3 very good ones(Lake Pleasant, Lake Roosevelt, And Lake Powell). I do enjoy the Great Lakes, also the Finger Lakes in New York. Colorado has some neat lakes also. I think most of the states have a good lake or two! I will be hauling my Boat about 8,000 miles around the country this year to sail a lot of them. Happy Sailing, Capt. Tony
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post #28 of 33 Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Best Lakes in the US to Sail

Sorry! I forgot to list the wonderful time, I had a few years ago at Jackson Lake. I had about 8-9 days up there to sail. So I figured, I would sail Jackson Lake for a few days, then go up to Yellowstone Lake for the rest of the time, But enjoyed Jackson so well, I just stayed there all the time, and loved it! Also, some very nice folks would come by every evening and give me a trout for diner! 10 in total!! Live does not get much better than that! Happy Sailing, Capt. Tony
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post #29 of 33 Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Best Lakes in the US to Sail

Welcome aboard. I will see you Seneca Lake and raise you The Finger Lakes Region in general. I live on Owasco Lake and at one time or another I have boated on every one of them. They are spectacularly beautiful, especially in the fall. Now sailing is, obviously, a seasonal endeavor here however if you enjoy all 4 seasons, the Finger Lakes Region is tough to beat.

Just my 2cents but I am obviously biased.

Brad
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Hi Craig; here's one for your list: ** pun intended}

Seneca Lake in the New York Finger Lakes Region


But seriously, welcome aboard.

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post #30 of 33 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Best Lakes in the US to Sail

Another vote out west for Pend Oreille in northern Idaho. Clear cool and over 1000 feet deep. 45 miles long Pend Oreille has over 90,000 acres of uncrowded water to explore. We often feel we have the entire lake to ourselves

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